This is every nurse’s worst nightmare. Imagine caring for the most fragile, helpless patient while Mother Nature is going on a rampage. That’s what happened last night as hospital staff worked through the night to evacuate patients from NYU’s Langone Medical Center after heavy flooding from Hurricane Sandy caused the hospital to lose power.
According to reports, the hospital’s emergency generators lost power around midnight, the staff, using flashlights, evacuated 260 patients on med sleds at a pace of about one patient every 15 minutes. ABC News reported that some of the most venerable patients, 20 babies from the neonatal intensive care unit who relied on respirators, were carried down nine flights of stairs while a nurse manually squeezed a bag to deliver air to the baby’s lungs. I only imagine what those nurses were thinking as they recused the infants. “Hold the baby tight, go down a step, squeeze the ambu bag….repeat”. They carried these infants step by step, in the dark, sounded by howling winds and rising flood waters. It was a living nightmare.
I’m so proud of my fellow nurses. They are a credit to the profession. And you know they would do it all again if they had to because they’re nurses.